In the past few weeks, I have been reminded repeatedly that the time that we have left on earth is finite and uncertain. I received news a few weeks ago that a friend of mine had passed away suddenly while he was at work. Although we had not been close in the past few years, we had shared some great times together through some camping trips and other outings in the past. He was a person who was always fun to be around…and he was the exact same age as me. I went to his service and could not imagine the grief that his wife and adult children were experiencing.

Just a couple of weeks later, I went to visit my family for Thanksgiving. My father had been having some health issues and I had been keeping up-to-date on his doctor appointments and general condition for the past few months. I was looking forward to talking with him and hopeful that his condition was improving. My hopes were deflated when I saw his frail figure walk through the door, obviously not the same person that I have known for so long. Through the fifty-plus years that I have known him, I have never looked at my dad and seen an old man…until now. I was able to have a good visit with Dad, despite his weakened condition, and remain optimistic that we’ll have more visits in the future.

Just a day after returning from Thanksgiving, my wife received a call from her sister, who informed her that her ex-husband and father of their children had suddenly passed away. Evidently they were decorating a Christmas tree when he suddenly collapsed and had difficulty breathing. Rescue workers arrived and attempted to revive him, but he could not be saved. Again, a very likable person in my life suddenly disappears.

Although I feel that I am more aware than most of the precious value of time and the importance of using it wisely, I feel the need to pay even more attention to the use of my remaining minutes. I know that I have much more planned for the life in front of me, but I don’t know what God’s plan is for me. I intend to remain a resource for my wife and kids. I intend to share my experiences with others. I intend to be a resource for my employer to improve efficiency by using my skills and experience. I intend to travel and see many more things with my wife. But none of those intentions matter if God has a different plan.

I realize that I need to be focused on doing the things that God wants me to do. I need to pray more to ensure that my plans are aligned with God’s. I need to make sure that I don’t leave loose ends. I need to make sure that the people I love know that I love them. I need to spend my time on truly meaningful endeavors and not waste the minutes that I have remaining. I have made an effort toward this goal, but I know that I can do better.

Time doesn’t stop.

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